Tag Archives: abstinence

1500 Smart Recovery Meetings

Posted on June 30, 2015

1,500th SMART Recovery Meeting Opens as Fast Growth Rate Continues

 The number of SMART Recovery meetings has reached the 1,500 milestone – less than three years after crossing the 1,000 mark – as more people embrace the program’s emphasis on becoming empowered to overcome addictions using science-based tools and peer support.

MeetingGrowthChart

The 1,500th, a Friday evening weekly meeting, has opened at the Portland Recovery Community Center (PRCC) in Portland, Maine. Niki Curtis, the SMART trained facilitator for the meeting, explains:

“When I first arrived, we didn’t have many non-12 step meetings, so our Program Manager asked if I would be interested in SMART Recovery training. I am so glad that I said yes because since that training two years ago, I have utilized the program’s tools in my own life and shared them with others in meetings. For instance, I found that doing SMART’s Cost/Benefit Analysis helps me with decision-making. The ABC tool helps me deal with my anger around loud neighbors, and I am using SMART’s Urge Log tool to quit smoking.  I have been working at the Center for two years. I love that we offer all types of meetings and that, like SMART, we respect all types of recovery. Continue reading

An Interview with Dr. Michael R. Edelstein: Cognitive Tools for Fighting Addiction and Beyond

Posted on June 16, 2015

SMART EdelsteinpicRecovery® is delighted to announce a new SMART Special Events Webinar: An Interview with Dr. Michael R. Edelstein: Cognitive Tools for Fighting Addiction and Beyond.

Saturday, June 20, 2015 5:00 PM, EDT.

Register here: www.smartrecovery.org/events
 

This free webinar is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Lucida Treatment Center of Lantana, Florida.

The focus will be on how using simple evidence-based tools from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that can help anyone, not just those struggling with addiction. SMART focuses its application of these tools on addictive behavior, specifically, but we can use those same tools to help us learn to better cope with underlying issues – stress, worry, anger, anxiety – and free us to create and enjoy the lives we want. Continue reading

How Do You Turn Down a Drink?

Posted on December 30, 2014

SMART Holiday CelebrationsIs there a social event in your near future that involves alcohol?

For example, you may be planning to celebrate the arrival of the new year with friends or family. If you have an established goal of abstinence and are fairly new to recovery, you may find this event challenging for many reasons, especially if alcohol is being served and your host or other party goers are dead-set on pressing a drink into your hand.

While a simple “no, thank you” is often sufficient for refusing alcohol (or other drugs), it can be helpful to plan ahead for how you will handle the inevitable invitations to drink and other challenges that you may experience.

Here are some things to consider:

Alcohol Refusal Skills

If you know that alcohol will be served at the event, having a plan for how you will respond to any social pressure to drink is important. If you expect to be offered a drink, think about how you will respond, what feels most comfortable for you. Ultimately, you will be looking for a way to refuse alcohol while remaining friendly and respectful.

40 million Americans ages 12 and older—or more than 1 in 7 people—have addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs.

Your contributions help empower countless thousands with science-based tools to abstain from any substance or activity addiction.

Make a difference — give a tax-deductible gift today.

Have a convincing refusal ready to use as needed. A convincing refusal is clear, short and to the point (e.g., “No” , or “No, thank you”). Some examples include:

No, thanks… I don’t drink.
No, thanks. I’m not drinking tonight.
No, thank you. I am taking medication that doesn’t mix with alcohol.
Thank you for the offer, but I’d really rather not.

Contrary to what you might expect, Continue reading

5 Alternatives to 12-step Meetings

Posted on February 25, 2014

Multiple Options for Addiction Recovery

Self Help Support for Addiction RecoveryIn the 1730s Native Americans organized the first abstinence-based recovery circles. Since that time, a variety of groups have come and gone, but the efficacy of self-help meetings for addiction recovery has been well researched and proven to be effective in many ways.

In the 20th century the most well known mutual support groups were based on the 12-step model, the most widely available of these being Alcoholics Anonymous. For many years, the 12-step model was an integral part of the treatment program for many of those who sought professional assistance to help them quit an addiction. Over time, the public grew to perceive that regular attendance and participation in 12-step meetings was a requirement of recovery. However, as addiction research has progressed, we now know that there is not one program that is helpful for everyone. People are different and have different needs. For example, many people do better with a model that does not involve a spiritual component; many people do better with a self-empowering approach. We also know that people seeking recovery from addiction have a better outcome when they are able to make informed choices about the mutual support groups they attend.

Many paths to recovery

There are a number of support groups and alternatives to 12-step recovery that stand ready to help people overcome their addiction to substances and behaviors. Continue reading

Why Abstinence?

Posted on February 11, 2014

Ten Good Mental Health Reasons Not to Drink Alcohol

Consuming alcohol may make matters more difficult for people suffering from mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and impulse control disorders. Even having a couple of drinks a day carries consequences that affect brain and body functioning, leaving a negative impact on mental well-being. Sometimes, people feeling high amounts of stress, pain, anxiety, and impulse turn to alcohol to find short-term relief, without realizing that using substances can limit the progress of reaching long-term emotional stability. Alcohol may cause moodiness, lower inhibitions, upset the cycle of restorative sleep, increase the symptoms of depression, and interfere with prescribed medication. Avoiding alcohol completely may be a good idea if you have concerns with anxiety, depression, and impulse control.

10 Reasons Not to Drink


Source: Graphic designed by Dr. Jesse Viner, MD, executive medical director of the Yellowbrick Treatment Center for young adults.

Discover the Power of Choice! Your behavior is your responsibility and you have the freedom to choose. For even more reasons to consider abstinence as a goal and why experts often recommend it, visit the SMART Recovery website.

Continue reading

Is SMART Recovery® a Moderation Organization?

Posted on March 8, 2011

choices

SMART Recovery® supports (1) abstinence from any substance or activity addiction and (2) going beyond abstinence to lead a meaningful and satisfying life. Our 4-Point ProgramSM addresses addiction itself (Points 1 and 2) and quality of life (Points 3 and 4). Points 3 and 4 are the primary focus of discussion in many meetings. To remind you, Point 1 focuses on motivation to abstain; Point 2 on coping with craving; Point 3 on problem solving (when practical problems can be resolved) and emotional self-management (when practical problems may not be “solvable”); and Point 4 on building a life of enduring satisfactions (a meaningful and purposeful life).

SMART Recovery® encourages attendance by individuals in any stage of recovery. Those maintaining long-term abstinence will likely be most interested in discussions of Points 3 and 4. Those in early recovery will likely pay more attention to Points 1 and 2. SMART Recovery® recognizes that individuals may be in different stages of change, at any one time, across what is likely to be a range of addictive behaviors. For example, one participant may be ready to stop drinking but not ready to stop smoking. Another participant may be ready to quit cocaine but not ready to quit marijuana. Both participants may be drinking excessive caffeine and overeating, and be unaware that these are also addictive behaviors.

Continue reading